Matthew 11:16–30: “My Yoke is Easy, and My Burden is Light”

by Mar 13, 2023Premium, The Gospel of Matthew0 comments

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In the previous passage, we saw the vulnerable concerns of John the Baptist. Unjustly imprisoned in the days leading up to his even more unjust execution, John knew the eternal significance of rightly identifying the Messiah. He knew that Jesus had come from God, but, given that information, he could not make sense of the way that Jesus was using his time. Through this interaction, Jesus not only strengthens John’s faith, but he then turns to bolster our confidence in him. In this passage, Jesus speaks to us some of the most precious promises in the whole Bible as he calls us to find rest in the revealed Son of God.

Discussion Questions

1. What does Jesus mean by the story of the children in the marketplaces, calling to their playmates (vv. 16–17)? How did the ministries of John and Jesus differ, and how were they similar (vv. 18–19)? Why did the people of Galilee not believe either of them? What role does the intellect play in their unbelief? What role does the will play in their unbelief? What does Jesus mean when he speaks of the greater condemnation of Chorazin and Capernaum (vv. 20–24)?

2. In what sense has the Father “hidden” something (v. 25)? What exactly are the “these things” that the Father has hidden? Why has the Father “hidden these things from the wise and understanding”? Why has he revealed them to infants? In what sense is this concealing and revealing the Father’s “gracious will” (v. 26)? What has been “handed over” to the Son (v. 27)? Why is the Son’s unique knowledge of the Father so important?

3. What does Jesus mean when he refers to those “who labor and are heavy laden” (v. 28)? What kind of rest does he give to them? What is Jesus’ “yoke”? What does Jesus intend for us to learn from him? In what sense is Jesus “gentle and lowly in heart”? How do we “find rest for [our] souls” in Jesus? In what sense is Jesus’ yoke easy, and his burden light? How would you characterize Jesus’ gospel promises here?

4. What about the warnings that Jesus gives most stick out to you? Where do you need to repent? What about these gospel promises most stick out to you? What makes you weary and heavy laden? How does Jesus promise to relieve those burdens from you? What application will you make of this comforting doctrine? How will you lay hold of the promises of the gospel? How will you receive Jesus’ easy yoke and light burden?